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Like so many of you, the members of Orange County Grantmakers have spent the past months working our way through the immense challenges facing our nation. The impacts of COVID-19 on the nonprofit sector have forced philanthropy to craft better approaches for supporting our community, serving and assisting those who support the most vulnerable among us. Following the events of the past week, we once again reflect on what it means to be in philanthropic service with an equity lens. As an organization, we have spent the last year and a half exploring this concept – how it is defined, reacted to, and applied to grantmaking decisions that affect each member organization.

The truth and reality is that the discussion of equity is not enough.

Let us be clear: Orange County Grantmakers condemns racism and inequity in all its forms. We recognize the trauma that violence and discrimination have wrought on our community, especially in African American and other communities of color. We condemn the actions that took the life of George Floyd and stand with communities calling for justice.  

Society is at a critical juncture – community, business, and government leaders must not only speak up about systematic inequity and racism, but also take action. As an entire community, we must continue to educate ourselves and understand the history of racism that has become engrained in our societal fabric through policies and cultural norms. From here, OCG pledges to not only look deeply at the systematic inequities that have led us to the challenges of today, but also work together to design an actionable strategy for philanthropy with the aim of equity. 

The conversation happening around racial injustice is an opportunity for each of us to think deeply about what we must do to combat deeply ingrained biases that manifest in actions, policies, laws, and ourselves. We invite our community to join us in having the tough conversation to struggle together in order to create a brighter future.  Together we must embrace diversity and work towards a just and equitable community, informed by the guiding lights of justice and love.

Orange County Grantmakers

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